Qwest ends relationship with Ogilvy as it moves PR work in-house

DENVER: As part of an effort to move more PR services in-house, Qwest has severed its ties with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide after five years.

DENVER: As part of an effort to move more PR services in-house, Qwest has severed its ties with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide after five years.

Ogilvy PR's Denver office had been providing b-to-b communications work, said Kate Varden, Qwest's senior director of media relations. "We're in a transition phase, as a company and as a department. We continue to look at our needs across the board. It's not a cost-cutting move, but we feel (PR) is something we can execute internally."

Varden added that Ogilvy PR always provided excellent work.

Ogilvy insisted that recent business wins will offset the impact of losing Qwest. Jeff Leopold, Ogilvy PR's VP of external relations, pointed to new business from Celestial Seasonings, Case Logic, and Uniden.

Accounting scandals and federal investigations have besieged Qwest since February. As many telecommunications firms have come under fire for similar allegations, corporate communications teams have seen their budgets shrink while still having to respond to allegations. In response, many telecommunication PR teams have pulled their PR in-house to better control messaging and communications.

"We believe there are a lot of great PR opportunities," said Varden.

"We have a new (marketing) campaign called 'Spirit of Service.' We also have several opportunities we're hoping to execute on, and we're planning for 2003. Bringing PR in-house, and executing from an internal perspective, makes the most sense for our PR opportunities."

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